The complete guide to Edinburgh Interactive

The games industry is coming together for the ninth Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival in August. MCVprovides a complete timetable of events rounding up all the sessions and screenings

Why you shouldn’t miss this year’s event
by Edinburgh Interactive chairman David Yarnton

I believe that this year’s Edinburgh Interactive will be the best yet. Apart from being stimulated and informed from some of the sharpest minds in the interactive industry, delegates will have the opportunity to understand the significant impact video games and interactive entertainment have on our culture, creativity and our economy. EI is the only games event where egos and chest thumping is left at the door, there are no big stands and no big commercial promotions. We are there for the good of the games industry.

The speakers are thought-provoking and show real passion for their chosen topics, providing varied and interesting insights into many diverse areas of the interactive industry.

We aim to make EI a celebration of the creative endeavours that go towards putting the games industry on equal social footing as music, film, TV, art and literature. With a wider social and cultural acceptance we will be taken more seriously by government and society in general.

Don’t miss out on this year’s Edinburgh Interactive; it’s going to be a great event


Thursday, August 11th

09:30 – 09:45:Introduction
(David Yarnton, chairman, Edinburgh Interactive)

09:45 – 10:30: People and money
Sean Dromgoole, CEO, Some Research;
Edward Williams, managing director, BMO Capital Markets

Edward Williams and Sean Dromgoole join forces on stage. Using their different points of view, they track recent developments in the games industry as well as the extent and the value of gamers’ developing interests in social gaming.

10:30 – 11:15: Leave your phone at home, this is mobile media
Jason DaPonte, managing director and executive producer,
The Swarm

Jason DaPonte will look at trends and make predictions about how mobile media is evolving beyond the handset including looking at connected cars, clothing and more.

11:15 – 11:45: Coffee break

11:45 – 12:30: The Napsterfication of learning
Graham Brown-Martin, founder, Learning Without Frontiers

When Napster was introduced by Shawn Fanning in 1999 it disrupted the music industry forever. Piracy led to innovation and Apple became the largest retailer of music in the world. As the world migrates from PCs to mobile devices, the emergence of the App economy has disrupted the software industry.

12:30 – 13:15: Gamification: Building games – the mechanics, rewards and influences
Kam Star, chief play officer, Playgen;
James Allsopp, design director and in-house psychology expert, Playgen

Playgen is a leader in gamification, where the elements of gameplay go beyond entertainment and are used to combine play with serious topics.

13:15 – 14:30: Lunch

14:30 – 15:30: Gamification – tricks of the trade
Rajat Paharia, CEO, Bunchball;
Philipp Mohr, CEO, Comufy; James Sampson, head of product, Enteraction; Chris Wright, CEO, GamesAnalytics

A new crop of companies have emerged that provide developers with everything from leader boards to microtransactions. We’ll meet four practitioners who make, manage and measure online gameplay from the Daily Mirror’s Facebook page to Coronation Street and Top Chef.

15:30 – 16:00: Coffee break

16:00 – 16:45: The gamer’s gaze: Facial representation and interaction from past, present and future
Mike Rogers, director of research, Image Metrics

This session will cover current state-of-the-art technology for creating and animating characters. Rogers will discuss how new technology developments can provide unprecedented levels of interaction between the gamer and your characters.

16:45 – 17:45: The great debate:‘The UK games industry is only one life away from game over’
The games industry has been great for Great Britain. We hit the ground running and at one stage a fifth of the world’s video games were made here. But the decline has been steep. Chaired by Ian Livingstone, four industry heavyweights will battle it out. Two for, two against. Arguments will be raised and trashed and then it’s up to you
to vote.

Friday, August 12th

09:30 – 09:45: Re-cap on yesterday (David Yarnton, chairman, Edinburgh Interactive)

09:45 – 10:30: How we got Benedict Cumberbatch on a spaceship and how you could, too — games, stories and new
funding models
Steve Ackerman, Managing Director, Somethin’ Else

Somethin’ Else invented a new category of game in Papa Sangre — the video game with no video. On the back of this it then worked with an advertising agency to create a game on top of the technology which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and performed incredibly well.
This session will discuss the firm’s approach to working with agencies in a collaborative way, which points the way to the future of advertiser-funded content.

10:30 – 11:30: The Multiplayer revolution
Mark Gerhard, CEO, Jagex Games Studio

With the explosive popularity of multiplayer games coupled with the massive advances in internet connectivity, Gerhard explains that the future is in fact already here, that gamers themselves have
already evolved, and explores why the industry is playing catch-up.

11:30 – 12:00: Coffee break

12:00 – 12:30: Getting blood out of a stone
Brian Williamson, Director, JumpStart UK

JumpStart is the UK’s biggest single applicant for R&D tax credits.
In this session, case studies will be used to teach you how to maximise your return for the development work you do.

12:30 – 13:30: Interactive TV – the games industry of the future
Fred Hasson, executive director of Redbedlam(Chair); Dan Cryan, senior analyst, head of broadband media, Screen Digest; Chris Deering,former CEO of SCEE, former chairman of Codemasters, and board member of both IGAWW and Geomerics; Rob Woodward, CEO, STV Group

This session looks at consumer trends in the various media over the last ten years (film, TV, music and games) and asks who has responded to the challenges and how. The session points to what the future will look like, in particular the fight for control of the living room, diverging business models and government regulation.

13:30 – 14:00: TBC

14:00 – 14:15: Conference close (David Yarnton, chairman, Edinburgh Interactive)


A wide range of free games screenings and sessions with industry professionals are available to the public. They will take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel’s Great Scottish Hall on Thursday, August 11th and Friday, August 12th.

Thursday morning sessions will give attendees an overview of the games industry and tips on how they can find employment within it, while Friday morning’s program will focus on games-based learning.

Thursday, August 11th

10:00 – 11:00: Games industry overview and how to get into it
Speakers: Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, Clive Robert from Train2Game and Abertay University lecturer Ken Fee

11:10 – 12:10: W

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